Community Celebration of Life for Jeff Adachi

Jeff Adachi (Photo by David Toshiyuki)

“You know, we all have to be public defenders now. We gotta make sure that we defend our Constitution, we gotta make sure we defend our brothers and sisters who are in harm’s way, and we have to make sure that we defend our own humanity, because that’s what’s at stake in this country.” — San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi at the “United for Compassion” Japantown vigil against post-election hate, Nov. 22, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — A community event entitled “A J-Town Celebration for Jeff Adachi: A Gathering of Community and Friends” will be held Saturday, April 27, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, 1840 Sutter St. in San Francisco’s Japantown.

The event, to be emceed by former San Francisco Deputy Public Defender Daro Inouye, will feature performances, remembrances, and a short video in tribute to the late elected public defender, social justice advocate and filmmaker, who passed away suddenly on Feb. 22 at the age of 59.

“This will not be a memorial service, but a gathering of friends and community,” said a statement from organizers, who also disclosed a Godzilla theme, as Adachi was a collector of memorabilia of the iconic Japanese monster.

Adachi, who was born in Sacramento and was elected to be San Francisco’s public defender in 2002, was also a community activist, inspired by the first national pan-Asian movement to exonerate Korean immigrant Chol Soo Lee, who was wrongly accused of murder.

In order to raise funds for the movement to free Lee, Adachi wrote a song titled “The Ballad of C